Sunday, February 21, 2010

Short Life, Big Impact

A young artist so talented living in NYC went from a graffiti artist to and exhibition at the Whitney museum. Jean Michele Basquiat's work can still be seen at the Museum of Modern Art. He was born in 1960, His father was Haitian and his mother was puerto rican. As a young struggling artist living with his friends, after quitting during his last year of high school, he sold hand made post cards when he was not spray painting city buildings and subway cars. He was befriended by many very well known artists such as: Andy Warhol, Barbara Kruger, Julian Schnabel (Who directed the biographical film "Basquiat" in the 1996). This movie was a reenactment of Baquiat's life and encounter with Andy Warhol and Julian Schnabel. The link below is an excerpt from the movie "Basquiat".

Basquiat was once described as "The Radiant Child" by poet/artist Rene Ricard in 1981. Unfortunately like many creative geniuses his misguided creative passion led to his demise. In 1984 his close friends became concerned about his use of heroin. In1986, Basquiat was one of the most famous NY artists traveling to Africa, Paris, and back to NY for an incredible publicity tour. In 1988, He returned from Hawaii claiming to be drug free in the month of June; In August he died from a heroin overdose at age 27. To truly experience his work go to the following link.

Basquiat was a young energetic passionate soul during the Black Arts Movement. He had an honest approach to art as an anti corporate vehicle, driving his message home to his hoi palloi. The movie "Basquiat" has an unknown actor playing Jean Michel Basquiat, but the part of Andy Warhol is brilliantly done by David Bowie. Basquiat, just like Micheal Jackson is best described as "An abstract painting"(Colleen Ayers). It is emotional, at times disturbing, but with the proper method of inquiry, embraced for is originality and execution. 


  1. Meghan, Your links aren't active. I would suggest that instead of using links to the youtube videos, that you actually embed the videos in your post. You can do that by using the embed code info. If you look at the info on the youtube video, you will see a description of the video, then a link and then underneath that the embed code. Copy that out and use it in your blog. It will make for a better post.

    Nice review!

  2. Hey Meghan
    I really liked your post, I thought it was short sweet and to the point. I've heard of Basquiat but have never heard much about his life or the movie about him so I'm really happy to know a bit more about that. Your wording is very precise in a way that it gives the reader a lot of information without having to say it three times which kept me interested.
    Good job :-)

  3. I really liked your post. I liked that you too the approach of talking about an artist. I had never heard of Basquiat before I read this but he sounds fascinating. I like that you mentioned some other artists that he spent time with and I liked the way that you worded your post. It was almost poetic. Nice Job